That's overseas, but in the North American market, BMW has typically taken a different approach, offering just one Alpina model – the B7 – to fill in for a lack of M7 performance sedan. That all changes, however, with the debut of the BMW Alpina B6 xDrive Gran Coupe.
Slotting in alongside the M6 Gran Coupe, the Alpina B6 xDrive Gran Coupe is marginally more expensive and slightly less powerful, but makes up for those relative (and negligible) shortcomings in spades. Both are based on the 6 Series Gran Coupe and both pack a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8, but with key differences. Where the M6 produces 560 horsepower, the Alpina offers 'only' 540. But where the M6 channels 500 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the Alpina drives 540 lb-ft to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic.
The 20 fewer horses are well offset by the extra torque, traction and gear ratio, sending the Alpina to 60 in a scant 3.7 seconds – nearly half a second quicker than the 4.1 seconds it takes the M6 GC. Without the restrictor in place, the Alpina will also keep going all the way up to 198 miles per hour where the M6 is limited to 155. All that for $118,225 (including destination) – just a few grand more than the $115k BMW quotes for the M6 GC. The Alpina B6 xDrive Gran Coupe will debut at the New York Auto Show next month and go on sale right after. Details in the press release below.
ALPINA's unique blend of super-high performance and individuality in a stunningly beautiful 6 Series Gran Coupe body and featuring xDrive.
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – March 4, 2014 ... Today BMW announced the launch of the new BMW ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe. The 2015 BMW ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe will make its North American debut at the New York International Auto Show in April and will go on sale immediately thereafter. Pricing will be $118,225 including $925 destination and handling.
The BMW ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe delivers exceptional 0 to 60 mph acceleration in only 3.7 seconds. The 540-horsepower and 540 lb-ft output of the 4.4-liter ALPINA Bi-Turbo V8 is channeled through an 8 speed Sport Automatic Transmission with ALPINA Switch-Tronic and BMW's xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive system.
A carefully tuned high performance stainless steel ALPINA exhaust system with twin elliptical tailpipes resonates with a deep but unobtrusive exhaust note.
Electronic Damping Control and Active Roll Stabilization technology work together with the fully variable torque distribution of the xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive system. The seamless integration of chassis and powertrain enables agile and neutral driving dynamics that meet the highest demands for sportiness, comfort and all-weather traction.
With a top speed of 198 MPH, the BMW ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe impresses not only through its effortless and confident super-high performance, but also with its finely balanced handling and smooth refinement.
Elegant and functional aerodynamic design
Typical ALPINA design features blend stylishly into the elegant lines of the B6 Gran Coupe, accentuating its dynamic and powerful appearance. The delicate and refined 20" ALPINA CLASSIC 21-spoke wheels complement the long and smooth contours of the B6 Gran Coupe.
As beautiful as the ALPINA design features are, the aerodynamic elements are also fully functional. The front apron with integrated, slightly protruding splitter elements directs airflow over and around the body rather than underneath the vehicle and thus contributes to increased high speed aerodynamic stability.
The front apron was carefully designed to provide sufficient airflow for the cooling needs of the powertrain, directing air to the intercooler, as well as to the different heat exchanger elements for coolant and oil. The 14.7 inch diameter front brake rotors and the 13.6 inch diameter rear brake rotors benefit from NACA ducts at the front of the underbody to direct cold air towards them.
Handcrafted interior with the finest materials
The ALPINA exclusive LAVALINA leather is used to cover the hand stitched steering wheel, door sill trims are highlighted with an illuminated ALPINA logo and exclusive ALPINA Myrtle wood or Piano Black trim finishes are available.
A wide range of individualization possibilities are available for ALPINA customers The BMW Individual and the ALPINA equipment ranges are available to create a truly unique vehicle using the Gran Coupe body as a canvas for the personal preferences of BMW Alpina B6 drivers. Exclusive ALPINA exterior colors available for the BMW ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe include ALPINA Blue and ALPINA Green.
The ALPINA factory
As is the case with every other BMW ALPINA vehicle, the B6 Gran Coupe body is manufactured in the BMW 6 Series factory (Plant Dingolfing) and hand finished with select ALPINA powertrain components and interior equipment at the ALPINA factory in Buchloe, Germany. This production sequence extends the production schedule by approximately two weeks.
The BMW ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe is available as a special order vehicle with capacity-limited production. European Delivery at the BMW Welt delivery center in Munich is available for the BMW ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe as is delivery at the BMW Performance Center in South Carolina. Customers can even choose both, if they wish.
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 339 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 119 MINI passenger car dealers, and 35 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at: www.bmwgroupna.com